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An IoT device would likely contain one or more sensors that it would use to collect data. Exactly what these sensors collect will depend on the individual device and its mission. Sensors in industrial machines, can measure temperature or pressure; a security camera with audio and video may be a proximity sensor, a moisture sensor, you will probably pack your home weather station. All this sensor data and much more will have to be sent somewhere. This means IoT devices will need to transmit data and do so via Wi-Fi, 4G, 5G and more.

Technology analyst IDC calculates that in five years IoT gadgets will generate 79.4 zettabytes of data. IDC says some of this IoT data will be "small and fast" with a quick update, such as temperature reading from the sensor or reading from a smart meter. Other devices, such as a video security camera using computer vision, can generate large amounts of data traffic.

The amount of data generated by IoT devices will increase rapidly over the next few years, IDC said. He said most of the data was generated by video surveillance, but other industrial and medical uses would produce more data over time.

He said drones would also be a major driving force in creating data using cameras. Looking further ahead, driverless cars will also produce very large amounts of rich sensor data, including audio and video, as well as more specialized automotive sensor data.

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